Treasury Secretary Urges Big Companies to Invest in Smaller Ones

June 11, 2013 - 7:46 AM
Jacob Lew

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew (AP File Photo)

( - Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says big companies should invest in startups and smaller businesses and "mentor entrepreneurs."

Speaking Monday at a summit on "growing America's small businesses," Lew recognized the hard work of small business owners and entrepreneurs -- the men and women "who are determined to take risks, overcome barriers, and bring ideas to life.

"Small businesses are the engine of our economy," he said.

And while the government can and should help small businesses access credit, Lew said big companies can play a role as well:

"When Dow invests in start-ups, when corporate executives at the New York Stock Exchange mentor entrepreneurs, and when IBM uses small businesses as suppliers, it makes a real impact."

Lew noted that President Obama has created several initiatives, such as Start Up America, to bring large companies and small businesses together.

"But we need corporate America to continue leading by example as well," he said. "Their support is really crucial. So today I want to call on leaders of large businesses to do more to invest in new startups, mentor entrepreneurs, promote creative solutions for working capital, and become good customers to small businesses.

The summit examined ways to make credit more available to small businesses and startups.